Monday’s actual results will determine whether Buena Vista’s estimate for its DreamWorks father-son drama starring Hugh Jackman was enough to fend off the lukewarm debut of Paramount’s dance remake Footloose on $16.1m. Regardless, this was another weak weekend at the domestic box office.

Morgan Creek’s horror prequel The Thing released through Universal generated a forgettable debut at number three on $8.7m. It stars another Australian Joel Edgerton alongside Mary Elizabeth Winstead.

Fox’s bird watching comedy The Big Year collapsed, opening at number nine on $3.3m from 2,150 theatres despite the cast of Jack Black, Owen Wilson and Steve Martin.

Cross Creek Pictures’ political drama The Ides Of March directed by George Clooney fell two places to number four and has grossed a decent $22.2m through Columbia after two weekends. Disney’s 3D re-release of The Lion King is approaching the $100m and ranks tenth on $90.5m after five weekends.

SPC unleashed Pedro Almodovar’s The Skin I Live in starring Antonio Banderas and Elena Anaya and the drama produced an excellent per-site average as it opened on $231,000 from six for $38,500.

Independent hopefuls Abduction ranks number 13 on $25.8m after four weekends while Killer Elite at number 16 has grossed $23.8m after four.

Next weekend’s wide releases are Summit’s 3D adventure The Three Musketeers with Milla Jovovich, Logan Lerman and Christoph Waltz; Universal’s hitw international comedy hit Johnny English Reborn which is on course to cross $100m next weekend and stars Rowan Atkinson; horror sequel Paranormal Activity 3; and sports drama The Mighty Macs through Freestyle.

Estimated Top 10 North America Oct 14-16, 2011
Film (Dist) / Est wkd gross / Est total to date

1 (1) Real Steel (Buena Vista-DWKs) WDSMPI  $16.3m $51.7m
2 (-) Footloose (Paramount) PPI $16.1m –
3 (-) The Thing (Universal) UPI-Morgan Creek Int’l $8.7m –
4 (2) The Ides Of March (Columbia) Exclusive Films Int’l $7.5m $22.2m
5 (3) Dolphin Tale (Warner Bros) WBPI $6.3m $58.7m
6 (4) Moneyball (Sony) SPRI $5.5m $57.7m
7 (5) 50/50 (Summit) Lionsgate $4.3m $24.3m
8 (6) Courageous (TriStar) SPRI $3.4m $21.4m
9 (-) The Big Year (Fox) Fox Int’l $3.3m –
10 (7) The Lion King (In 3D) (Buena Vista) WDSMPI $2.7m $90.5m